A modern-day Western novel…
Janelle Meraz Hooper
Read the book- Amazon & others, PB & Kindle
Suitable for New Adult & up
A few lines from Custer & His Naked Ladies, the third book in my Turtle Trilogy. Glory, all grown up now, lives in Seattle and has unexpectedly been left by her husband. She’s on a commuter plane between Ft. Worth and Lawton—on her way home to see her family…while she’s looking out the plane’s window, she ponders the past…
Glory looked down at the barren landscape, after recognizing the pain and suffering of the settlers a part of her switched sides…A good example was Cynthia Ann Parker, a settler’s child who was kidnapped by Comanches in 1836 when she was nine-years-old, and later became the mother of Quanah Parker, who grew up to be a great Comanche chief. As a child, she must have been terrified when the Comanches carried her away but years later, when she was “rescued” by the white man, she didn’t want to return to the white settlement. She had become a Comanche heart and soul. She died of a broken heart when she was separated from her Indian family. Why couldn’t they just leave her alone?
Glory had read the stories about the Indian cruelty to the settlers, but little was said about the whites, like Cynthia Ann Parker, who had embraced the Indian way of life.
Still, the pain and suffering of the settlers couldn’t be ignored. Glory couldn’t imagine how she could survive if she were a mother whose child had been ripped away from her and carried off by a band of screaming Indians. Many of them never saw or heard from their child again. They must have spent the rest of their days wondering if it were alive or dead.
Glory looked down at the barren landscape. A part of her switched sides. So, you couldn’t wait to get rid of the Indians and get our land. What have you done with it? Nothing! Except maybe pollute it. Give it back! Glory tried to imagine the plains once again filled with buffalo and other game. Peaceful Indian villages would nestle next to the creeks…yeah, Glory interrupted herself, until a neighboring tribe came and set their teepees on fire…okay…so not all of the Indians’ troubles were caused by the white man.
The drink cart began to move down the aisle. A gray-haired woman on the other side of the plane leaned over the arm of her chair and softly asked Glory, “Pardon me, but I’m from New Jersey and I’m wondering if you’re a real Indian?”
“Funny you should ask. I’m going back home to try and figure that out!”
The woman didn’t know if Glory was being funny or rude. Why shouldn’t she be confused? She was!
“No, really,” Glory continued, “I was part-white and part-Mexican when my mother got remarried to a Comanche Indian when I was eight-years-old. I’m not really sure what I am!”
“I see. Perhaps you should convert to Judaism like me. Then your confusion would be complete.” She looked out her window, “We did our share of wandering in the desert. Of course, we didn’t have RVs,” she joked. Her eyes followed a caravan of recreational vehicles as they moved down the road, red dust billowing behind them.
“That’s not a bad idea. The only problem is I don’t think all of those cultures would fit on my sweatshirt.”
The stewardess came around with cold drinks and the woman struck up a conversation with her.
“Do you have any kosher Coke?” she teased.
“No Ma’am, but I have some kosher Pepsi.”
Custer & His Naked Ladies. Book 3 of the Turtle Trilogy. Paperback and Kindle (etc.). Suitable for New-Adult and up.
“Janelle Meraz Hooper has done it again! Custer & His Naked Ladies is filled with quirky and likable characters in a richly detailed setting. Humor, family, and love come shining through. There is a poignant line in the book that has stayed with me, “Old age had crept in and stolen their bodies while they were dancing through life…” These women have danced! VF Gibson, Seattle, WA
“I purchased Custer & His Naked Ladies at your booth on July 4th in Steilacoom and promised I’d let you know what I thought of it. After I finished it my husband decided to read it (We had both enjoyed A Three-Turtle Summer a few years ago) so I waited to hear his comments. We thoroughly enjoyed the book. We both agreed that you are excellent at spinning a yarn and at painting a verbal picture of people and places. You can quote us on that! P.R., Tacoma
“I just finished reading your book “Custer & His Naked Ladies LOOOOVE it, excellent writing and story. It gave me a nice inside view of the wonderful culture of our American Indians. Good job, Janelle S.Z., Puyallup, WA
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